Features

‘I remain phone-free until I get to the office’ – 24 hours with…Burda’s Talia Jackson

As content firm Burda Creative Services' director for Asia-Pacific, Talia Jackson values staying connected above all else, but knows just when, why and how to disengage

6.45am: I wake up to a relaxing playlist, brew a fresh mint tea, and do a few stretches. I take a quick cold shower to boost my circulation. To keep my head detached from the external world, I remain phone-free until I get to the office; that means no texts, email, news or social media. It’s tough, but so worth it.

7.30am: I take a daily strength training class with the pre-work crowd. I focus on my technique, adding weight or increasing the repetitions each day. It motivates me to achieve something new every morning. I’m energised and ready for the day ahead. My gym is just one block from the office, so once I’ve showered and changed, I’m just minutes away.

8.50am: Breakfast at work – avocado, boiled egg and chia seed pot – while I dive in and connect with the world. Personal messages from friends and family in the UK are first. Next, a few thought-provoking reads from inspirational figures I follow online, the latest industry news, and then, my inbox.

My role is to provide custom content solutions and best-in-class partnerships, that push creative boundaries and meet client objectives. I oversee five regional teams, each one responsible for their local market needs: from print products, digital content and social activations, to video production, events and fully integrated marketing campaigns.

We place clients at the very centre to craft the right solution, delivered via relevant channels to reach their customer in the right way at the right time. Furthermore, we collaborate to enrich the output of branded content campaigns.

9.30am: I use this time for a catch-up with my team, one region each day. Managing campaigns with multiple touchpoints throws up new challenges all the time. Together, we brainstorm solutions, review prospects, share industry news. I ensure the team can keep moving forward in a timely manner.

I share cross-region updates that provide the platform for my teams to collaborate. They unite to offer clients greater reach, and strategically localised campaigns for each market.

10.30am: I send out an agenda for my team call the next day, including any upcoming travel plans. Every month, I visit a different office to continue learning about the team, the local markets and how best to scale Burda’s approach in different regions.

11.00am: A check in with my head of production and we need to find a creative solution to keep a project on track. Together we define the problem and what’s needed to overcome it. Thinking clearly, staying agile and moving quickly is important in a fast-paced environment, driven by client deadlines and an appetite for creativity.

11.30am: Time for a caffeine hit. A ritual daily short walk to my favourite coffee shop provides a breath of air and a boost of Vitamin D. On the way, a Mac pop-up event distracts me.

An eye-catching Hong Kong tram creative by travel brand Kuoni catches my attention. I take photos and post to my regional team’s shared space. Remaining curious and aware of the things that win your attention, even if just for a second, is key to a staying on top of new ideas for inspiration.

I reach Elephant Grounds and there’s an extra hot cappuccino waiting with my name on.

12.00pm: I’m helping a client judge proposals from prospective candidates for their intern programme. I’m looking for a well-articulated business problem, insights to support the suggested approach, and stand-out ideas that will drive awareness, engagement and sales. The first few proposals are promising, so the competition is tough.

1.00pm: I enjoy a sushi lunch with a senior leader in the same field, who I met at a networking event recently. I listen, ask questions and learn more about their business. We discuss ways to collaborate that play to our strengths and will grow our collective offering . I leave full from lunch, and excited about the new prospect.

2.30pm: I connect with a longstanding client for an update on their business needs. We discuss current streams of work, talk through the objectives of the brand, and share our views on future direction for partnership opportunities.

4.00pm: Time for the monthly video call with our executive chairman in Munich, CEO and the senior management team across Asia. We exchange business updates, share market knowledge and work on diversification and innovation projects in the making.

It’s a great time to learn more about the Hubert Burda Media portfolio and investments around the globe.  We span 20 countries, with businesses that include e-commerce platform Zilingo, DLD’s global conferences, Europe’s C3 marketing agency and the UK’s Immediate Media. It provides lots of new ideas and opportunities to think about.

6.00pm: I fly by Art Basel to visit the Prestige team who as an official media partner, host a booth. Then I find a quiet spot in a nearby hotel lounge to take a scheduled call. I mentor a UK-based Commercial Strategist, who works for an agency that specialises in digital media.

I’m grateful for the guidance I received and lessons I learnt during my early career. I take pride in being able to help future leaders and nurture promising talent.

7.30pm: Dinner at a friend’s apartment, with a great view of the coast and lush, green mountains. Very calming. Somewhat different to the towering blocks outside my own apartment.

9.30pm: A quick catch up with my brother and my nieces over FaceTime is the perfect way to end the day. I finish as I start: a calming herbal tea, soothing background tunes, and devices switched off, ready for a good night’s rest.

Talia Jackson is director of Augment, Burda Creative Services for Asia-Pacific. She is based out of Hong Kong

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